I'm not able to view my inbox mails, I'm using Thunderbird.

I have checked the /var/mail directory. There I saw the lock file: /var/mail/$LOGINNAME.lock

I have removed the lock file and restarted the Thunderbird, again the lock file is created.

I have changed the file group as mail from users. After that also the lock file is created.

I have restarted the machine. After re-booted the machine the file group has changes to users.

-rw------- 1 sugumar        users   1.4G 2011-09-30 20:14 sugumar
-rw------- 1 sugumar        mail     10 2011-09-30 20:30 sugumar.lock

I'm not able to stop the lock file creations. I'm not able to access my inbox.

What is the problem? How to solve this?


The lock file is in place because of Thunderbird. It exists as a way for the OS to know that a process is using the /var/mail/sugumar file and that process may update the file so it would be unsafe for any other process to modify/read the file until the lock file is gone.

The problem may be that the file /var/mail/sugumar is so large that Thunderbird crashes trying to index all of the emails. 1.4G is pretty large for an email file!

Try using [ 09:00 jon@host ~ ]$ mail and clearing out some of the unwanted emails, or make a backup of that file [ 09:00 jon@host ~ ]$ gzip -v9 /var/mail/sugumar, then [ 09:00 jon@host ~ ]$ touch /var/mail/sugumar to create an empty file.

Then if you ever want to go back to those old emails, just gunzip the /var/mail/sugumar.gz file.

  • Thanks... I have used 3rd point Now I'm able to access the new mails. How to restore the old mail into my Inbox ? – ungalnanban Sep 30 '11 at 19:58
  • do touch /var/mail/sugumar, then open Thunderbird again and any new emails from then on should work. – chown Sep 30 '11 at 20:01

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